LIFEvest is a life-changing experience for Segerstrom High School student Dyandra Magdaleno

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While transitioning from 8th grade to high school, Dyandra Magdaleno was going through a very difficult time in her young life. On the advice from a school counselor, she applied for the University of California, Irvine Paul Merage School of Business LIFEvest program and was accepted for the 2015 summer session. This fall, Magdaleno, the first in her family to attend college, will be a member of the incoming 2019 UCI freshman class. “The program gave me hope that no matter what I’ve gone through, I can tackle any obstacles that come my way,” she said. “I never thought I would get into a prestigious school such as UCI, but that experience made me realize that I should never doubt who I am and what I am capable of.” Now in its 10th year, LIFEvest is run by the Center for Investment and Wealth Management at the business school where the $2,100 per student cost is funded by individual, community and corporate donations During the weeklong, total immersion summer crash course on campus, the high-achieving students – all with a 3.0 or higher GPA – from Orange County  are taught how to budget, build and track a stock portfolio and plan for college. They also learn social etiquette, about potential careers and how to make their dreams a reality through careful planning. “I enjoyed learning how to manage my money and have a plan for myself. Before this program, I didn’t know how. Since then, I created a savings account for college which has helped tremendously since I live in a single parent household with my two younger sisters,” Magdaleno said. At UCI, her first choice school, Magdaleno will major in psychological science and plans to become a child and family lawyer. “I would like to thank everyone from the coordinators of the program to the sponsors for helping me grow in life,” she said. “LIFEvest has shaped me in ways I could never have imagined. Without this program, I would be in the position I’m in today.”